Goalkeeper reveals Sunderland contract hopes

Lee Burge is hopeful he’ll get offered a new deal at Sunderland and says he’s ready if called upon following a period of absence due to heart issues.

Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 11:11 am

The 29-year-old goalkeeper, who will be out of contract this summer, tested positive for Covid-19 in January and went through a spell of mandated rest, where he had to keep his heart rate below 100 BPM.

Burge, who joined Sunderland from Coventry in 2019, returned to his home in the Midlands while recovering but has been building up his fitness at the Academy of Light since March.

While Anthony Patterson has been Sunderland’s first-choice goalkeeper under Alex Neil, Burge returned to the bench for the Black Cats’ games against Shrewsbury and Plymouth last month.

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Sunderland goalkeeper Lee Burge will be out of contract this summer.

The 29-year-old also played for the club’s under-23s side against Birmingham at Eppleton CW and is relieved to be playing again.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in those situations in matches and it was nice to be back in those situations,” Burge told the Echo when discussing his spell on the sidelines. “Hopefully now if called upon I’m ready.

Asked about the challenges he’s faced in recent months, the goalkeeper added: “It is what it is, you just have to take it in your stride and everything is ok now so I just have to crack on and enjoy whatever happens next if we get promoted or not.

“It was a bit different but it’s just good to be back and now hopefully everything will be alright.

“It’s just good to be back out there in training, it’s a bit boring being at home when you can only take your dog for a 20-minute walk.”

Burge had to watch Sunderland’s matches on a stream while he was unavailable for selection but is hopeful he can still be part of a promotion campaign as the Black Cats prepare to face Sheffield Wednesday in the League One play-offs.

"It did take a bit out of me,” he admitted. “Obviously I just had to speak about my symptoms and we found out what it was and we’ve hopefully sorted it now.

“It’s been interesting and I just have to help the younger lads now and we have to stay together and crack on.”

He added: "I’m fully ready to go if called upon and if I can help in any way I will because it’s been a great couple of years here for me.

“Obviously everyone wants promotion and that’s what we’re striving for. The lads have dug deep, are on a good run and we have some good momentum now.”

While Burge was recovering Sunderland also went through a managerial change, with Neil replacing Lee Johnson in the dugout.

Asked if he would like to stay at the club beyond this season, the goalkeeper replied: “Yeah of course, it’s obviously up to the club and we’ll see.

“The manager has only seen me over a short period of time so we’ll see what happens and I’ll hopefully get offered something.”